When you are hungry for a win you can perform at a high level. You can overcome the heat, sickness and strong challenge from a fierce competitor. That’s how Stephen Nasse got to victory lane on Saturday night in the CARS Tour Summertime Showdown 125 at Orange County Speedway.
Nasse set fast time and held the lead for 125-laps, but the final 50 laps he had a driver on his quarter panel almost every lap until the checkered flag was waved.
“I joked with one of my crew guys that I never get wore out in a race car, but tonight I did,” said Nasse in victory lane. “What a feeling to be in victory lane. It was a great battle with Dalton and I am sure that was really fun to watch from the stands.”
For Nasse it was his first Super Late Model win in North Carolina since 2011. He won a Pro Late Model race earlier this year at South Alabama in the Baby Rattler 125.
That driver chasing him for the win was Dalton Sargeant who was lightning fast in both practice rounds earlier in the day. Sargeant stalked Nasse lap after lap seeking a way around. The two drivers made very little contact as Sargeant threw the kitchen sink at him on the final two circuits. It was an exciting and clean finish.
“We were just a little tight in the center towards the end,” said Sargeant after the race. “It was an extremely tough race with the 51 (Nasse). His car was really good. I have been banged up while racing for the lead late recently so I was not going to do him dirty. A little beating and banging, but just good hard clean racing.”
Sargeant insisted that the end will come soon and they will land in victory lane.
“We were only a couple of feet away tonight,” added Sargeant. “I have so much confidence in my guys at Bond Suess Racing. They always do such a good job at getting our car dialed in.”
Behind the front two, fans witnessed an impressive performance from dirt racing ace Tanner Thorson in just his second Late Model start. Lucas Jones and Trevor Noles completed the top five.
Raphael Lessard came into the race as the point leader, but had mechanical problems and finished 11th. Cole Timm and Quinn Houff each had trouble so Lessard didn’t lose ground, however Brandon Setzer did finish four sports in front of Lessard making their margin less than five heading to Concord Speedway.
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-By Elgin Traylor, Speed51.com Southeast Correspondent
-Photo credit: Speed51.com
CARS Tour SLM Unofficial Results